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I live in the West Village and work just around the corner, in the Federal Building, and I went by there just today. It looks like they have just braced some of the windows, ceilings, etc. in preparation for getting started. I don't think any of the real work has begun yet, because it looks only slightly better now than in your pictures. They cleaned up some of the debris immediately around the building, which went a long way to improve it. Funny how the small things count for so much. More important to note, is the fence that just went up around the house on Niagara Street, which is also across the street from this hotel. I've heard they're planning on demolishing it to make way for a 5-story parking garage for the Niagara Center. You wouldn't believe how much complaining I hear on a daily basis from the commuters in my office about the lack of parking in this part of the city. It is a shame, though, that they couldn't have saved the current structure. I know it has a name, like "The O'Flannery House" or something, but I am not sure what it is. Currently is says, "Villa Minyanna" over the door. I don't speak Spanish at all, but doesn't that mean "Tomorrow House?" Whatever. I think it's Second Empire style, and worth saving, but it's really in complete disrepair. Maybe beyond salvaging? Sad. But I suppose it will be nice to see that part of a formerly blighted block all cleaned up. I am not a fan of more parking facilities, but I have to admit they're a necessary evil, and it is better than watching these boarded up, decaying, formerly grand buildings decaying and dying a slow death. Let's just hope that Uniland's plans include some landscaping to make it at least a little less ugly.
 

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I know the preservationist weren't happy about that house coming down for yet another parking ramp:

http://campaignforbuffalo.bfn.org/171niag/index.html

I'm all for preservation but this house looks like its been altered so much that you have to wonder if it is worth saving since it is the only historic building on that block. It would be awesome if it could be moved- but I think its destiny is decided already.

007 keep an eye out for a dumpster in front of the Lake Hotel- a sure sign of something happening. Speaking of which- any work going on at the Graystone Hotel???
 

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I have not seen any activity at the Graystone in a very long time. Do you remember the construction crew that had an accident there? (I think it happened last summer, but I almost think it might be coming up on two years ago.) Part of the ceiling collapsed on them when they were just getting started on the work. That put a halt on all activity, and I am wondering if it made the development company, investors, etc. reconsider the feasibility of restoring that building. If so, it would be a huge shame, because that is such an awesome building, and in a very strategic location. It's on the borders of Allentown and the West Village, and adjacent to Johnson Park. It even has a parking lot, which is what people seem to be demanding these days. I'll let you know in the "Buffalo Development News" thread if I see any activity at either location, Lake Hotel or Graystone.
 

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I haven't read anything about Paladino cancelling the conversion of the Graystone. Thats bad news if its true. I was hoping that he has so many other projects that this was just lower on his radar screen. I'd hate to see him pull a Webb Bldg. on us and leave it vacant and then cry he needs to demo it. Speaking of Paladino, he was also supposed to convert the office bldg. at the N.W. corner of Delaware/Allen to residential. That hasn't gone anywhere and I saw that Benderson pulled a permit on the bldg. to replace the windows. So its unclear who owns it and what they're going to do with it.

Paladino has so many announced projects- I wish he'd just get them going! Nothing is under construction since he completed the Belasario. I read his NF project is going to start in May but that has been dragging on for two years. Hopefully he'll get the Courtyard/Baker Shoe Bldg. renovation started this year too.
 

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Paladino seems like a lot of talk and no action. He is part of the old guard of Buffalo developers. The old guard want lots of public funding and assurances and rarely do anything concrete. The old guard talks about the need for more parking. The old guard hold on to vacant buildings for year with no maintenance until the buildings become unusable. Paladino's major contribution to downtown has been to advocate for new parking ramps. The new guard of buffalo developers are people like Rocco Termini who just do it. They build in places nobody would have ever dared before and they don't wait around for public hand outs. Buffalo's problems are not based on high NY taxes they are based on the stuck in the mud attitude of the old guard who say it can't be done in Buffalo. There are many places far more costly than Buffalo were development and business flourish. If Buffalo embraces the new guard it can get rid of its welfare shackles and take its rightful place in this country as one of its premiere cities.
 

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I agree, some of these developers just keep going in circles on projects, it's not doing anything for Buffalo by any means and I would hope that in the future they could get the ball rolling on some of the more promising projects. Paladino is an odd cat, he buys everything up and does nothing with it...yet if he allowed someone else to develope something he cant find in himself to do, maybe he would see the properties he does own increase in value...the guy is a retard in my opinion.

Looking at the Lake Hotel, If I coulda bought that for the price of a bank forclosure I woulda...its a great little building and now in a great location. I hope someone keeps this little treasure around for years to come.

As for needing a parking ramp...Eh, I think Buffalo should adopt a policy which says that for every parking ramp built, a building must be constructed downtown. I dont really agree with building a parking ramp where this house is, there are more suitable locations which would help rid downtown of its ugly surface lots, thats the road they should go on that.

oh well, as long as they build some stuff, thats okay.
 

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The parking ramp was part of the original plans for the Niagara Center. It is supposed to accompany the building, so that the new tenants have ample parking space. That's probably why they have been so successful in renting the space. I think I heard that it is already at least 80% full and still attracting tenants. Most of the tenants are Federal agencies that are being displaced from the Dulski Building across the way. I can tell you, because I work for one of them, that if that parking ramp was not going in, many of those agencies would have looked elsewhere for new office space. Most of the Federal workers here are suburbanites, who just swoop down into the city for work, and then maybe for a show at Shea's, Kleinhan's, or other theater trips. My Allentown friends refer to these people as "culture vultures." When it was announced that they were shutting the Dulski Building down, and that we would have to relocate, the only concern I ever heard from any of my coworkers was for free parking. There are about 60 of us in my agency, and only 3 of us live downtown, either walking or using public transportation to work. The other 55 people or so, would love to get transfered to one of the suburban offices so they would not have to pay for parking...and they are very unhappy about walking even a block or two from the parking garage. I don't know about resisting the need for more garages, because I just feel that you cannot force people to think "more urban." If you don't make it easy for people, then they will continue to do what they've been doing for the past few decades...stay in the suburbs. I think that the main reason the suburban malls are prospering, while all the downtown department stores moved out is because people can park at that F-ing Galleria Mall, and they can't do that downtown. Though I'm not sure why the Elmwood Strip is doing so well commercially. I do know that it's tough to find parking on all of the side streets between Elmwood and Delaware, and also Ashland and Norwood. And my friends who live around there (without driveways) complain about this incessantly. So I suspect that there is just enough parking available to sustain that "ecosystem." I don't know. I just think that you can never compare Buffalo to larger cities, because, although I love them, Buffalonians do not think like "big city people." When I first moved here from NYC and I took the bus from Allentown to North Buffalo (to a shop on Hertel) my friends were appalled when I told them what I did. You would think I committed a crime. Where it would be natural to take the bus or subway in New York, it is seen as degrading and embarassing to do it in Buffalo. No matter how hard we try, we're always going to have to make sure that the people who live in the 'burbs have places to park, or we'll always be in the situation we're in now. Thriving suburbs and struggling city. On the other hand, it would be great to see a reveral of suburban white flight, and see the so-called empty nesters (the people who abandoned the city in the '50s and '60s) returning to the city now that they need to downsize. If enough people beging to live downtown, then that could change everything I just said about the need for cars and parking ramps. We'll see...
 

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It is a very delicate balance between supply and demand. As you said yourself the most succesfull part of buffalo is the area with the most activity, least parking and most bus lines. So, even in buffalo people are drawn to the places with the most activity not the most parking. The funny thing about suburbanites is that they are willing to park the equivalent of several blocks away at the Galleria Mall but parking less than half a block away in downtown is like torture. If you park at the upper deck at the furthest row in the Galleria parking lot you will be walking the equvalent of the distance from Main Street to City Hall! But that is an unthinkable distance to walk downtown to the average citizen of Amherst.

The real task is to bring in the type of development which is unique and will draw in people regardless of the parking situation. For instance the TOY theater on Allen Street has been very successfull. It has NO parking. Imagine that.....a theater with no parking. The thing that makes it successful is that it is a theater for children's productions so if you want to treat your kids to a show that is the place you have to go! Here you have people from the city and suburbs alike traveling to a theater in Allentown which is 5 blocks form the lower west side slum and has no parking. Parking decks are easy ways to bring in a few suburbanites who add little to the city. Withinagination and some hard work you can bring in the kind of people who attract in more people.

The Theater of Youth (TOY) at the Allendale Theater.
http://mishami.image.pbase.com/u43/kjosker/upload/28069324.TheatersAllendale.jpg
? 2005 by Karl R. Josker
 

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great pictures from both buffcity and hkskyline.

hkskyline, my favorite pictures i saw from you were the ones to took from your flight from toronto to philly. do you have any more pictures from other flights? i have some flight pictures that you might be interested in seeing. i'll put them in a thread and then give you the link to it.

buffcity, i enjoy your pictures, but you have to keep them coming. we haven't seen a new set of pictures in a couple weeks. are you in the planning stages of more threads? will you be taking pictures of riverside and black rock? of the grounds in delaware park? south buffalo? the harbor area?
 

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xzmattzx said:
great pictures from both buffcity and hkskyline.

hkskyline, my favorite pictures i saw from you were the ones to took from your flight from toronto to philly. do you have any more pictures from other flights? i have some flight pictures that you might be interested in seeing. i'll put them in a thread and then give you the link to it.

buffcity, i enjoy your pictures, but you have to keep them coming. we haven't seen a new set of pictures in a couple weeks. are you in the planning stages of more threads? will you be taking pictures of riverside and black rock? of the grounds in delaware park? south buffalo? the harbor area?
Hi! I have other recent flight reports with aerial views in the aviation forum. Here are the threads to those with a few nice aerials :
LH 471 Toronto - Frankfurt (aerials of both cities)
LH 3665 Geneva - Frankfurt (a few aerials of Frankfurt's skyline)
LH 4243 Paris - Munich (aerials of German countryside)
AC 8032 Toronto - Philadelphia Part 2
SG 105 Toronto - Vancouver (aerials of Vancouver's southern suburbs and airport)

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be in Buffalo for the next little while. I might schedule a visit for later in the summer, but it's still uncertain at this point. I think I have a few photos of the harbor area and houses near Delaware Park on my website : http://www.geocities.com/asiaglobe/gallery .
 
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